iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 18, 2013
There is still some hope left for Khalistani terrorist Devenderpal Bhullar who is facing imminent execution after the Supreme Court dismissed his petition against rejection of his mercy plea by the President.
Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) on Thursday submitted a fresh mercy plea to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking commutation of Bhullar’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

Bhullar has been given death penalty for the 1993 Delhi bomb blast case which killed 9 and injured 25 including the then Youth Congress president MS Bitta.

In its plea, ACHR said there was already a precedent for the President to reconsider a mercy plea twice.

Shiromani Akali Dal has already demanded commutation of death sentence of Bhullar, who is currently under treatment for mental ailment at a Delhi hospital.

“The mercy plea of death-row murder convict, Mahendra Nath Das, of Assam was considered twice as shown from the minutes of the Rashtrapati Bhawan supplied under the RTI Act. If  Das's mercy plea could be reviewed twice, there is no reason as to why Bhullar's mercy plea cannot be considered afresh."  said Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

ACHR in its plea also cited 16 judgments in which death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment by the President despite no dissenting judgment of any of the judges of the Supreme Court.

The NGO said this was in contrast to the dismissal of mercy petition of  Bhullar despite dissenting judgment of Justice MB Shah who was the senior most in the three judge bench of the Supreme Court which upheld Bhullar’s death sentence in 2002.